UPEI to pay professors it forced to retire

Ryan Ross rross@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on September 8, 2011
UPEI professors who were forced to retire at age 65 by the university and subsequently rehired are looking for compensation.
Guardian photo

UPEI will have to pay more than $335,000 to three professors who were forced to retire when they turned 65.

Last week the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission ruled in favour of Barry Bartmann, Ronald Collins and Robert O’Rourke for the retirements that date back to 2007 and 2008.

The commission ordered UPEI to pay Bartmann $219,751 for lost income from 2007 to 2010 and $4,800 for lost professional development credits.

UPEI will have to pay Collins $101,474 for lost income from 2008 to 2010 and both will get interest on the lost wages.

The commission also ordered the school to pay into each complainant’s pension funds for the time they were mandatorily retired along with $8,000 in general damages and $1,000 in costs.

It was the second ruling the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission made on the issue of forced retirement at the university after deciding the school had to pay almost $700,000 to three other employees.

UPEI has since stopped its mandatory retirement policy pending a judicial review.

Bartmann, Collins and O’Rourke were all reinstated last year, but only Bartmann still works there with the other two retiring voluntarily in September 2010.

O’Rourke withdrew his claim for lost wages because he was able to find work, including with the P.E.I. government, which offset what he would have made if he was working for UPEI.

rross@theguardian.pe.ca